What should a public speaker do when he forgets his next words?
This happens to almost every speaker at some time. Something interrupted your train of thought while you were speaking and suddenly you don’t know what to say. If you haven’t experienced this dilemma yet you’ve been lucky. If this has happened to you, recognize that it happens to speakers more often than you realize.
When this happens, don’t panic. Remember your audience doesn’t know your script. They don’t know what you intended to say, what order you intended to say it in or when you planned to pause.
Immediately after you’ve reminded yourself to stay calm, pause and smile.
Neither of those things is what your inner self wants to do, but it’s the right thing to do. Pause to help calm yourself and give your brain a chance to get back on track. Smile to show your audience that you are in control.
If you pause and frown they know you have a problem. When you pause and smile they can see that you have everything under control. The audience doesn’t need to know about your momentary memory lapse.
Often the combination of pausing and smiling relaxes you enough to get your brain working again. The pause might last only a few seconds even though it feels longer to you. Meanwhile the audience will be admiring your calmness and thinking that you paused for effect.